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Murrieta minister, pilot killed in Kansas plane crash

Edward Dufresne, a minister from Murrieta, is seen in this undated file photo.

October 19, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
An Inland Empire minister and a pilot are dead after their small plane crashed in Kansas Friday morning.

Edward Dufresne, 72, and pilot Mitchell Morgan, 49, were both from Murrieta.

Witnesses reported hearing an explosion before pieces of their 1975 twin-engine Cessna fell out of the sky. The plane crashed into a field near Derby, about 20 miles away from Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport.

Dufresne ran the World Harvest Church in Murrieta, but he spent much of his time as a traveling faith healer.

"He was a very honorable person, and one thing that I appreciated, he was a very loving individual to me in particular. I don't know how he was with other people, but he was kind of a father figure," said Pastor Jim Ames, a friend of Dufresne.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the plane was bound for Texas. Dufresne was due to give a talk at a church there.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.